tv Erin Burnett Out Front CNN November 14, 2011 8:00pm-9:00pm PST
box, and lifted it all over the thing. >> is that the second bike? >> that's the second bike i've had stolen. >> i say more power to you for getting your bike back. it was a gutsy move. a victory for riders everywhere. just maybe the next thief will think twice before swiping a bike and ending up on the ridiculist. that's it for us, erin burnett starts out front tonight. we're on the front line at penn state tonight. more zurking details to tell you about. and silvio buerlusconi resigns. and the bottom line on herman cain. can cain recover? let's go out front. i'm erin burnett. out front tonight, herman cain's pain.
we have breaking numbers tonight. herman cain dropping 11 points in the past month, after four women claimed he sexually harassed them. he's now polling at 14% among republicans, down from 25%. that is pain. and his pain was not mitt romney's gain. romney also dropped 2 percentage points, although he's still in the lead. the man who's getting the game, newt gingrich. he is the only candidate up and it is big time. >> it's better than when i was at 4. this is the most volatile race of my lifetime. >> you can say that again. gingrich went on to say, who knows what the polls are going to be two months from now. and there's something to that. before there was cain, there was rick, who dropped from 32% to 12. a drop of 20 percentage points. and before there was rick, there was michele. she dropped from 14 to 6. tonight, herman cain is betting that someone he's known for 46
years can turn it around for him. that's his wife. >> to hear such graphic allegations and know that that would have been something that was totally disrespectful of her as a woman, and i know that's not the person he is. he totally respects women. >> well, 58% of republican women believe herman cain's accuse accusers. we're going to dig into these numbers. john avlon joins us, james carville, and nancy fotenhower. thanks to all three of you. can she do it for him? talking about gloria? >> can gloria save herman cain? this is different than that bill and hillary moment on "60 minutes." right now you're seeing a slow motion implosion of herman cain's numbers. the gender difference is stark. it's steep.
he's still doing relatively well in iowa. iowa could turn the whole thing around from january 3rd, herman cain is in trouble and the numbers are finally taking a poll. >> would you agree, nancy? >> i do. herman cain's appeal was because of his integrity and sincerity. when he was on stage debating, he wasn't the smooth he was, but he seemed the most authentic. this particular attack is really a gut shot to him. it's one that is going to be extraordinarily difficult to recover from and, unfortunately, the sheer number of women who have come forward have started to tip the scales for other women across the country, saying, if that many people come forward, there must be some truth to it. >> james carville, there was a meeting today, an editorial board of a number, asked a question about libya. i have to say, i think he just literally -- his mind is so busy with what is going on, i don't think he's able to function anymore.
this has taken a real toll on him. >> right. i saw that particular clip. it was pretty amazing. and i've been through these kinds of things before. you have no idea what it's like to jump from 25 to -- >> let me play it for you. and then let you react to it. >> it was painful, okay. >> yeah. >> okay. libya. president obama supported the uprising, correct? president obama called for the removal of gadhafi. just want to make sure we're talking about the same thing before i say yes, i agree, i know i didn't agree. i do not agree with the way he handled it for the following reasons. nope, that's a different one.
>> he answered the question. i mean, james, this was different than the rick perry thing in a strange way. his mind was just sort of not there. >> look, as a human being -- >> yes -- >> and in a sense i feel sorry for him, what he's going through. i've gone through it. >> yes. >> the man has no right running for president. it's an endeavor not suited to his skill set and it is kind of painful to see this happened. but it happened at must and it happened at will and he's not going to be the nominee and never was going to be the nominee. he said many other things on foreign policy that would indicate that, you know, that i would be willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. maybe he's exhausted and he's not able to think of it. but he's demonstrated no doubt in this particular area at all. >> it did seem like he was exhausted on a human level.
let me ask you, because it does lead to the issue of how people behave in their personal lives. how relevant it is to americans. republican women, 58% agree to and i asked newt gingrich about ten days ago whether morality is relevant for a president. and here's what he said to say. >> no, i don't think it's that important but it's a question of whether you're talking about the totality of his life or you go back and dredge things up. i think there's a desire in the washington press corps to cover gossip as much as possible. just look at the twitter a couple months ago with congressman weiner. it was a stupid thing for him to do. that covered a lot more time and attention, than did all sorts of public policy issues that are vastly more important to the lives of the american people. >> he had a point there but interesting that he said that morality shouldn't matter. >> he began with a triple negative, too. that indicates that he's off his game on this.
sex scandals suck up too much oxygen -- >> that's correct. >> but he's also being defensive, because he knows he's living in a glass house. when you start to go up in the polls, people start throwing rocks. and you're already starting to see that. >> james carville, what do you think of this whole question about morality and the body of a person as opposed to a specific incident. >> i think people look at it -- to some extent they saw president clinton and somebody of enormous ability and he brought all this stuff with him. too this day he remains enormously popular. with people of less talent, you know, it sticks more. but speaker gingrich is getting ready to find out how much it matters because once you're in that position, i guarantee you that they are getting ready to tee up on him. he's going to get the full treatment here. >> and that full treatment is downright vial. sometimes fair, often times just vial. nancy, what do you think, we were talking about michele bachmann at the top, rick perry was at the top.
rick perry was at the top. herman cain was at the top. could newt gingrich stay at the top or is there still a chance for someone like jon huntsman? >> i'm not sure that there's a chance for jon huntsman but i would say that the republican primary voters are going through a thing like speed dating. it's not even flavor of the month. it's flavor of the week, for goodness sakes. and it's somewhat of indicative of their lack of warmth for romney. but i don't think the american -- they don't want to fall in love. they want somebody competent on the economy. and i think it's important to remember historically that incumbents are not beaten by opponents, they defeat themselves. and right now, president obama's looking at pretty terrible economic numbers, net job loss of three million, give or take. and if the economy turns around, it's going to be a very different horse race. but if these numbers stay bad,
he's definitely beatable. i think romney could definitely do it. gingrich if he gets an organization might be able to. >> wow. i didn't think you'd go that far. john avlon, i've got to ask you about health care. >> yeah. >> was this a move of political genius of the president to push it before the courts now, the poll shows a mandate for insurance. >> they said bring it on. for the reasons that you just said. if it gets struck down, the most powerful person in is justice kennedy. all of a sudden it will create a lot of enthusiasm among his base. either way it's off the table. it's a matter of settled law before the election or they have to go back to the drawing board which could simulate the base. but this is a -- this is going to be one of the driving themes of the next couple of months. >> all right. thank you very much to all three of you. we appreciate it. by the way, president now talking about obama cares, is the way he's playing it.
his opponents say obama care, he says obama cares opinion still "outfront" two republican candidates says that they will get to military strikes against iran. well, we do the numbers on this show. how much will it really cost america to go to war with iran? and ramos kidnapped and escaped in a gunfight. a reporter who spoke with him joins us. and an american aexcused of spying for israel spent time in an egyptian jail. he comes out front with this story. i was taking a multivitamin... but my needs changed... i wanted support for my heart... and now i get it from centrum specialist heart. new centrum specialist vision... helps keep my eyes healthy. centrum specialist energy... helps me keep up with them. centrum specialist prenatal... supports my child's growth and development. new centrum specialist is a complete multivitamin that gives me all the benefits of centrum. plus additional support...
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the number tonight, 1.3. that's how many billions of dollars shy california is from its budget target. that's important. because if the projected shortfall is over $1 billion, california has automatic cuts to education and social services. similar to the deadline that the supercommittee is facing. tonight, there is talk of war you can't ignore. two republican candidates telling the world they are not
scared of taking military action against iran. >> if after all of the work we have done there is nothing besides take military action, then, of course, you take military action. it is unacceptable for iran to have a nuclear weapon. we will not allow iran to have a nuclear weapon. >> and i agree with governor romney. you have to take whatever steps are necessary to break its capacity for nuclear weapons. >> israel has threatened to attack, of course. but it would have to be the united states of america which ultimately would have to pull the trigger. and what a trigger it would be. we ran the numbers. a first strike. and that's just targeting a few high value military strikes from the air. that's about $1 billion. and iran could target oil turmoils and if the united states has to keep troops in iraq and afghanistan due to iran meddling there, if it ever went
so far to overthrow the iranian regime, it would require 100,000 ground troops at a cost of about $90 billion a year. yeah, that's another iraq-afghanistan. and this is just the finant)p& cost. we can't forget the human cost, which would be high. general wesley clark, senior fellow of the center of ucla joins us now. thank you so much for being with us, sir. i really appreciate it. what do you make of all of the talk recently of ratcheting up actions in iran? >> well, i think that iran is a dangerous power. i think it's a hedgemonistic power. it is a threat to the nations in the middle east. and as the president said, it could be a threat to the united states as well. >> do you think the united
states can stop them from maintaining those weapons through diplomacy, especially with all of these sanctions that we have. i was in iran a couple of months ago and they seem to get what they need, in part, from places like china. >> if the united states can bring china and russia to bear if we really went after the sanctions in the toughest possible way. if we're willing to impact iran's ability to deal in oil, then i think it's possible that sanctions could have a decisive impact. i think sanctions are already having an impact. there's no question that we are making it tougher on the iranian regime but it's clear that the iranian regime seems determined to move ahead. >> one thing that amazed me when i was there that the most common bill in iran has the bill emblazed on it and they seem to support the program, for whatever reason, from a public relations point of view. so does that mean that it really becomes inevitable? that the people are willing to make the sacrifices that are
needed to pursue a new nuclear program? >> well, iran has sold this as a national pride and national achievement for nuclear energy. not for nuclear weapons. they are continuing to deny their nuclear weapons program but, of course, the indications are that they are pursing it. i think the president has had a very strong and proactive policy in this. i think he's been very tough minded on it. he's offered diplomacy, he's offered dialogue, he's gone for tough sanctions. no options off the table. and i think what you're seeing is that we're approaching a decision point with respect to iran. but it's a little bit difficult for me when i watch the dialogue going back and forth. >> yeah. >> that no one has any better answer to this than our president has right now. >> general clark, do you think that america could go to war in iran right now if we needed to? because there are plenty out there that say we can't. the military's overextended.
the bluff of the united states could be called if military force in iran were required. we don't have what it takes. >> well, we wouldn't be going into iran to occupy iran. there's no requirement to do that. we would go in with some fairly significant strikes. i don't think they would be limited just to the iranian nuclear facilities but they made much broader strikes against iran's military and industrial complex and its ability to retaliate. now, ultimately, do we know the iranians have a worldwide terrorist network. we know that they would attempt to respond using terror. >> uh-huh. >> but i think the overwhelming power of the united states would be very, very effective against iran's conventional and unconventional military capabilities, especially in the persian gulf and iran. >> general clark, thanks so much for joining us. we appreciate it. >> thank you. a major league baseball player was kidnapped and rescued in a gunfight in 48 hours.
>> where they were holding me was a very remote place and basically a jungle. i was praying to god that they would bring me home safely. >> that's 24-year-old wilson ramos, swiped by gunmen from his convenients evenezuela venezuelan home on wednesday night, thrown into an suv, brought to a mountainous region 60 miles away. he's the catcher for the washington nationals team and thought he would never see his family again but then security forces swooped in and in a dramatic fire fight now detained five of them colombian citizens. jesse sanchez talked with wilson ramos after he was rescued, a reporter with mlb.com. what do you say to people about what happened in that ordeal? >> hi, erin. thank you for having me on. wilson was a little -- obviously he was really relieved. all he talked about was how it was like a movie. the gunfight and that they had to rescue him.
the guys put their arms around his neck, through him in the car and it is the wildest and crazy story that i've ever heard and one of the most dangerous in latin america. >> what happened during the fire fight, that he told you? >> he said he was on the bed, he heard fire, and it was the authorities -- he looked out the window and the authorities and the kidnappers were shooting at each other. he said this fight lasted for probably 15 minutes. he hid under the bed, he was praying and crying and didn't know what was going to happen. after about 15 minutes the commandos, the government shorts rushed into the house, they were yelling, wilson, witness, are you here? and he yelled, i'm here, i'm here. and they were united and brought back to his family. >> amazing story. thanks so much for taking the time to share that with us. and still "outfront" disturbing details from the penn
state child rape scandal. we have new details for you tonight. we'll have that for you in a couple moments. and a woman whose son died while she was jay walking has been convicted of homicide but she's now appealing. and the berlusconi era comes to an end. we cannot resist looking for the new silvio. ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] everyone deserves the gift of a pain free holiday. this season, discover aleve. all day pain relief with just two pills. this season, discover aleve. ♪ ♪ ♪ when your chain of supply ♪ goes from here to shanghai, that's logistics. ♪ ♪ chips from here, boards from there ♪ ♪ track it all through the air, that's logistics. ♪ ♪ clearing customs like that
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our favorite punching bag officially resigned as prime minister of italy. nobody enjoyed his antics as much as we did. he was our own personal class clown, a kid that you knew was going to end up in juvie. and the worst part is that italy replaced him with this guy, mario monti. he's an economist and went to yale. so far he appears pretty boring. but we'll pretty happy surprised, mario. he may be good for italy, but he's been terrible for us. so we pride ourselves in become a positive show, a show of ideas. so we have looked past italy's prime minister and on to silvio's replacement. and we think these world leaders have what it takes to be our new class clowns. number three, prince albert of monacco, he appeared as a character in the facebook movie. number two, kim jong-il.
where do i even begin with this guy? he was popular in that puppet movie but allegedly has a thing for swedish ladies of the evening. and, of course, there is number one. yeah, vladimir putin. there's so many reasons we can't resist him. he's a sportsman and doesn't own shirts and, best of all, he just released this commercial to encourage russians to vote. ♪ ♪ >> guess that's what a russian election is like? he just couldn't resist and neither could we. out front on our second half, american airlines, the first airline to be fined for
delays. we have the numbers. and the head of the charity connected to the penn state sex scandal forced to resign. and accused of spying spent time in an egyptian jail this summer comes "outfront." [ male announcer ] drinking a smoothie with no vegetable nutrition? ♪ [ gong ] strawberry banana! [ male announcer ] for a smoothie with real fruit plus veggie nutrition new v8 v-fusion smoothie. could've had a v8.
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can ignore. newt gingrich and mitt romney say a war may be necessary. we ran the numbers. the first strike could cost up to a billion dollars. the real costs pile up, though. after that, it could cost up to $90 billion a year to overthrow the iranian regime. the cost, $1 billion per trooper year. number two, billionaire investor warren buffett taking a $10.67 billion stake in ibm. there are few investors who look forward to seeing what the oracle is buying -- i should say many investors. he's taken stakes in visa, cvs and intel. boosted his position in wells fargo. and sold johnson & johnson and kraft. number three, american
airlines became the first airline to be fined under the tarmac rule. it comes from an incident at chicago o'hare where 15 american eagle flights spent more than three hours on the tarmac. federal tarmac rule took effect in may 2010. since that time, the majority took place in the last few months. number four, boeing getting the largest deal in its history. emirates is buying 50 boeings in a deal that is worth $26 billion. this order points boeing being an advantage to its competition. who is the competition? airbus. and it's been a battle between the two that's been fierce lately now that boeing has started delivering the 787 dreamliner. of course, the airbus has the 8380 which is a heck of a lot bigger. it has been 101 days. it's been a sad landmark since we lost our top credit rating, 101 days ago. what are we doing to get it
back? the deficit committee has nine days to come up with $1.2 trillion spending cuts. come on, you guys can do it. the fallout from the penn state rape case continues to grow, the man at the center of it all is speaking out. jerry sandusky, who is charged with sexually abusing eight boys gave an interview to bob costas. nbc tweeted out the following quotes from sandusky. here's what it said. he said to bob costas, i'm innocent of these charges. quote, i am not a pedophile. quote, i have horsed around, showered, touched without sexual intent. and, quote, i shouldn't have showered with those kids. a reporter for the patriot news is covering the news at penn state college. sarah, what did you think about what you just heard jerry sandusky said in this interview to bob costas, quote, i am not a
pedophile? >> reporter: well, his attorney said that he admits that there was a touching situation with these boys, that they misunderstood what he was doing, that it was horseplay, that was it messing around and all in good faith. as far as the other two, much more serious sets of charges in this indictment, where children allege that there was a prolonged period of abuse, very adult-like acts, more like a relationship, that he flat out denies and i think he reiterated that tonight in that interview. >> all right. so i guess we'll hear his case later on, perhaps, on how touching could be okay. but let me ask you this, sarah, because you were one of the first to break this story and you have been covering it all the way through. today, jack raykovitz lost his job. he was the ceo of the second mile charity. he had been there for 28 years of service. what can you tell us about how much further you think this could go in terms of how many
more people are going to lose their jobs or be subject to indictment? >> reporter: well, there are four ongoing investigations resulting from those charges filed a week ago. there's the attorney general's criminal investigation, the state department of education is looking into what penn state's involvement might have been. penn state is conducting its own internal review and now second mile says it is going to be conducting its own internal review. that's going to be led by former philadelphia district attorney lynn abraham. i think the scope of this, how far reaching it will be, and how long this is going to last, how many people might lose their jobs -- i mean, that's far into the future. i think that that remains to be scene. >> all right. sarah, thank you very much. appreciate your time. still sort of shocked by, i have horsed around, showered, touched but no sexual intent. shocking statements there.
the allegation of sex abuse against penn state's former assistant football coach have been a call to arms for lawmakers across the state and the country. pennsylvania law requires individuals to report abuse to a superior but not necessarily to law enforcement authorities. which is something governor tom corbett admitted that it is an issue with david gregory this weekend. >> should the law be changed? absolutely. i know that members of both parties, republican and democrats, have introduced measures to make that change. >> one of the lawmakers looking to change that law is state senator wayne fontana. he is "outfront" tonight. you've been trying to change this law, if i'm correct, since 2005, right? >> that's right, erin. i introduced this bill about 6 1/2 years ago, one of the first bills i introduced when i was elected to the senate.
and i've been reintroducing it every session since. >> can you explain why the hesitation, why it would be okay to report to your superior and not to law enforcement authorities? i mean, why doesn't it pass this law? i mean, i'm sure it will this year but why hasn't it before? >> well, i think that there was a lot of hesitation because of issues that were raised by different groups with concerns about people bringing charges against people, for example, that weren't legitimate, maybe because they didn't like them or they gave them a bad grade, that sort of thing. there were issues of confidentiality, immunity. those types of things. and during the six years we vetted all that. we worked through all of those issues and we have a bill i believe now that's been properly vetted and dealt with all those types of issues, and a bill that's ready to roll. >> and how does it deal with those issues? because separate from the
egregiousness of the case that we're talking about right now, it would seem that if you say to a teacher or someone that deals with children, raped a child, even if it ends up not being true, you most likely have done irreparable damage to that person's reputation. >> well, that's true. but this law from the beginning held school employees to a different standard than everyone else. and that's what the issue is. we wanted the standard to be the same, regardless of who the perpetrator is or was, regarding the sexual abuse of children. it should be very clear how it's reported and investigated. and that was the intent all along of our bill, to make that clear and vote everybody to the same standards. >> how would your bill punish a joe paterno and if you violate the law. if your bill passes, what's the punishment? >> the focus and the scope is more to the graduate assistant.
if bill -- senate bill 534 -- >> mike mcquery. >> mike, there would be no question that he would have to report what he had seen to a law enforcement agency or child protection service. so it wouldn't even have gotten to the next person, even though he could have -- you know, reported to his administrator, they wouldn't have been on the hook to actually call the law enforcement. he would have had to have done it. and that would have changed the whole domino effect of this investigation. >> it would have. well, thank you very much, senator. we appreciate it. and good luck with your bill. it's about time. >> i thank you. and still out front a woman convicted of homicide for the jaywalking death of her child appeals the decision. the israeli american jailed in egypt on charges of spying comes "outfront." his story.
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i tell you what i can spend. i do my best to make it work. i'm back on the road safely. and i saved you money on brakes. that's personal pricing. we do this at the same time every night. our outer circle. we reach out to sources around the world. tonight we begin in syria where bashar al assad is facing pressure to leave from the king of jordan. king abdullah says if he were the syrian leader he would step down. rema atabi is following the story from abu dhabi tonight. how significant is the statement?
>> reporter: this statement by the king of jordan is very significant. first, because it's coming from an arab leader and addressing another arab leader. this comes only two days after the arab league suspended the membership of syria. so we can see that the international community is moving to stop the bloodshed in syria. erin. thank you, rema. and now to germany, where police have arrested two suspected members of a neo-nazi terror cell. at least two people have been arrested. fred pleitgen has that story. >> reporter: this is the worst neonazi the group was active for about 15 years and in that time killed at least ten people, most of them ethnic turks and greeks. they also killed one german police officer and were responsible for several bombings as well much now, meanwhile, german authorities have managed to raid
the house that these people were in and discovered a lot of evidence there and also a video where the group admits to a lot of the crimes. erin? >> thank you, fred. and now to france where dominique strauss-kahn has been requested for a second time to be questioned about the link to a prostitution ring. why is dsk reaching out? >> reporter: dominique strauss-kahn is essentially saying through his lawyers that he's had it for weeks now. almost every day there's been new accounts in the press about his involvement in the prostitution ring, about him splitting with his wife, about all sorts of things. now he says his lawyers are going to pursue injustice anyone who spreads those kind of rumors. erin? thank you, jim. well, herman cain was not exactly on his game. he stumbled when asked about libya. we showed it to you earlier in the show. to me it just seemed the case of an exhausted man who well, just had a brain fart.
well, cain has a good sense of humor and at a tailgate meeting tonight in wisconsin, here's what he had to say. >> i mean, they asked me a question about libya and i paused so i could gather my thoughts. you know, it's really complementary when people start documenting my pauses. you know, it's one thing to document every word. it was a pause. that's all it was. good grief. >> it was a long pause. all right. in a case that has drawn national attention, georgia mother raquel nelson was convicted of vehicular homicide. today her lawyer filed an appeal to drop all charges. the controversial case sparked its share of protests after an all white jury convicted the african-american mother of homicide. she was not driving the car. he was hit by a driver in 2010. she got off the bus with him and her two daughters rather than
walk 3/10 of a mile to a crosswalk, she had packages with her as well as her children, she tried to cross the street by her apartment building right where the bus let her off. the driver who admitted to drinking and driving hit and killed the child. this case has caused some to ask if it's black versus white, rich versus poor, or even ones who drive versus those who rely on public transportation. joining us now is paul callan. this is a tough story. what do you make of the case just as it stands, especially given that this is a situation where you don't have crosswalks and you have busy roads in busy poor neighborhoods? >> you hope prosecutors use their commonsense when deciding whether to charge a serious crime like this. here's this poor young mother who has lost her son, her 4-year-old son run over by a hit-and-run driver and they charge her with vehicular
homicide because she wasn't crossing at the crosswalk. i think it's an outrageous abuse of prosecutorial discretion, and i just don't know what they're thinking in that prosecutor's office. >> do you think -- i'm asking you to comment on a different case but do you think there is something to be said here about the racism, that is being alleged by some? white jury, black woman? >> there was an all white jury. and to me it's more carrism. georgia is built for automobiles. no crosswalks, minimal crosswalks. and she's someone who is poor. she relies on public transportation. >> doesn't have a car. >> doesn't have a car. she got off the bus with her three children, they were at walmart, a pizza place earlier in the evening. they missed the bus, got home late. and she's forced to cross the street. she would have to walk half a mile up and back to find a crosswalk because the roads are built that way.
so she crosses the highway and this horrible, horrible accident happens and now she's charged with vehicular homicide. it's really terrible. >> she's appealing now to get her record clear. but she takes on the risk that this all comes back again. >> well, there's a major risk because she was convicted already and the judge then came to her and said, listen, i'll give you probation if you just accept the conviction, and she's now saying, no, i'm not taking the probation. i want to have an appeal on the case. and i can understand why. can you imagine she loses her son, she's going to go through the rest of her life with a vehicular homicide on her record indicating she killed her own son? how does she explain that when she applies for a job? i understand why she's taking the appeal here. >> what discretion does a judge have in laymen's terms, if you have a case like this and the judge says i just think what the jury did was wrong? what discretion do they have? >> judges do have the right to throw a charge out completely if the charge was not proven. and i think in this case, one could argue that the georgia statute, vehicular homicide would require her to be using a
vehicle in some way. she's not using a vehicle. she's crossing the road. to be charged under this statute is very unusual. i think the judge could have dismissed the whole thing and we would have been done with it. i suspect eventually an appellant court will throw it out. >> paul callan, thank you very much. >> nice being with you. up next an american accused of being a spy. spent time in jail this summer and now comes out front. let'sl attention tdd# 1-800-345-2550 you and your money deserve. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 at charles schwab, that means taking a close look at you tdd# 1-800-345-2550 as well as your portfolio. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 we ask the right questions, tdd# 1-800-345-2550 then we actually listen to the answers tdd# 1-800-345-2550 before giving you practical ideas you can act on. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 so talk to chuck online, on the phone, tdd# 1-800-345-2550 or come in and pull up a chair.
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imagine being held in isolation against your will in a foreign country for months. he didn't have to imagine it, it actually happened while he was in egypt this past summer. the american law student with dual israeli citizenship was detained in egypt in june and accused of spying for israel. he appeared on the cover of egyptian newspapers shortly after his arrest. in october, yes, five months, the american government helped the israelis negotiate his release in exchange for 25 egyptians being held in an israeli jail. he's outfront for his first television interview. i'm so curious to hear your story, given all the changes, and people trying to figure out
the changes happening in egypt, and what kind of governments these are going to be. first, tell us your story. you're in law school at emory and you end up in egypt. how come? >> i was in egypt on a public interest grant, which makes it more ironic because he was there to help the arab world in particular, help the refugees repatriate to america. in the end i became accused of working against the arab world with espionage charges. for me, it was the perfect opportunity to be involved in the arab world, international law, and it was also cheap rent, which is good for a student so -- >> you were staying -- you'd only been there for a few days. staying in a hosstel. you had had a run-in with somebody that you filed a police report. they were aware you were there. >> it was intentional. i thought to get off of the radar, i thought to my advantage to be up front and i was teaching hebrew, telling people i was from israel in order to refute all possible suspicion that i was possibly a spy. i realize that the arab world is very conspiratorial and thought that it might be a possibility --
but i thought they would realize a person would -- >> you would be so blatant. >> a guy who carries an israeli passport is probably not a spy. >> fair point. but when we were talking to people today, they said, wouldn't people in israel tell you not to go zm that at this point given the tension in egypt and the concern about the treaty and just tension about israelis in general, that it just wasn't smart to go in first place? did you ever think about it that way? >> i knew if something were to happen, there would be many detractors. but i think it is an interest of israel to be interacting with arab people. i don't think you could set up a wall for eternity. it's easy to point to the bad, which happened, but i also had many good stories where people were defending me beforehand, people befriending me, taking me out to eat, offering me to drink coffee. that was part of the suspicion that the prosecutor didn't understand. >> they realized you were there. and then one night you woke up if your hostel with how many men in your room? >> about 30 men in civilian clothing barge into the room.
they ask me my nationality which i understood what they were looking at. i had my two passports. >> what did you see, israeli or american? >> i said american israeli to get everything out in the open. they said, come with us. i thought it was about the police report i filed. so i was being escorted to the police station. i quickly found out when they put on the handcuffs -- that that was not -- >> this is a police report, a dispute with someone over a bill. i just want people to understand it wasn't about espionage or anything like that. so then you go in and you're blindfolded -- >> they took me downstairs. i see the unmarked van which is a bad sign in any country. >> yep. >> and then i was blindfolded, put in the van and i was taken to the prosecutor's office where the interrogations began. >> did they ever torture you? >> they did not torture me. solitary confinement, some could consider five months as a mental torture. a perfect torture because i show up physically fit to the counselor visits but for 14 days a week i'm pacing in my room. >> it's a terrible thing that
happened to you. some critics would say, look, ilan, to get you out to make up for this that happened, even if it was unfair, people would say what were you thinking? 25, you know, egyptians were freed from israeli jails. 25 people for you. does that make you feel at all upset or guilty? >> i mean, upset that we released 25 miscreants on my behalf. i understand that egypt needed something to show their people. when they took me they thought i would be the panacea for everything wrong in their country from strife to they needed something to show their people. when they realized they made a mistake, the only thing they could do was -- i don't think they particularly cared about themselves, but they wanted to show their people that they released some people from the israeli regime. i understand i was a necessary part of the diplomacy. and a lot of things happen